Read this profile of Kentucky to learn about the state's history, points of interest, and government. Also find interesting facts about each state, including the state's motto, symbols, and when it entered the union.
5 |
6 |
7 |
Map of Kentucky

Capital: Frankfort

State abbreviation: Ky.

Postal code: KY

Population est.: 4,173,405

Largest City (2005 est.): Louisville/Jefferson County, 556,429

Land area: 39,728 sq mi. (102,896 sq km)

U.S. Representatives: 6

Entered Union (rank): June 1, 1792 (15)

Motto: United we stand, divided we fall

Origin of name: From an Iroquoian word "Ken-tah-ten" meaning "land of tomorrow"

State symbols:

flower: goldenrod
bird: Kentucky cardinal
song: "My Old Kentucky Home"
tree: tulip poplar

Nickname: Bluegrass State

Residents: Kentuckian

Did you know: Kentucky is home to the Mammoth-Flint Cave system, the largest underground cave in the world (300 miles long)

Map of Kentucky


Kentucky was the first region west of the Allegheny Mountains to be settled by American pioneers. James Harrod established the first permanent settlement at Harrodsburg in 1774; the following year Daniel Boone, who had explored the area in 1767, blazed the Wilderness Trail through the Cumberland Gap and founded Boonesboro.

Politically, the Kentucky region was originally part of Virginia, but statehood was gained in 1792. Gen. Anthony Wayne's victory in 1794 at Fallen Timbers in Ohio marked the end of Native American resistance in the area and secured the Kentucky frontier.

As a slaveholding state with a considerable abolitionist population, Kentucky was caught in the middle during the Civil War, supplying both Union and Confederate forces with thousands of troops.

Kentucky prides itself on producing some of the nation's best tobacco, horses, and whiskey. Corn, soybeans, wheat, fruit, hogs, cattle, and dairy products are among the agricultural items produced.

Among the manufactured items produced in the state are motor vehicles, furniture, aluminum ware, brooms, apparel, lumber products, machinery, textiles, and iron and steel products. Kentucky also produces significant amounts of petroleum, natural gas, fluorspar, clay, and stone. However, coal accounts for 85% of the total mineral income.

Louisville is famous for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, and the Bluegrass country around Lexington is the home of some of the world's finest race horses. Other attractions are Mammoth Cave, the George S. Patton, Jr., Military Museum at Fort Knox, and Old Fort Harrod State Park.

loading gif